Journal 3, Mars 2014pages: 157-161
Objectives: To investigate the prevalence of hypertension and its relation to body mass index (BMI) in obese children aged 9–17 years in Israel.
Methods: Weight, height, BMI, and systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP) (twice) were measured in children attending general and pediatric endocrine clinics. Obesity was defined as BMI ≥ 95th percentile and overweight as BMI ≥ 85th percentile. Pre-hypertension and hypertension were defined as systolic and/or diastolic BP ≥ 90th percentile for age, gender and height and BP ≥ 95th percentile respectively. In children with pre-hypertension or hypertension, repeated measurements were performed.
Results: We evaluated 264 children of whom 152 had BMI ≥ 85th percentile (study group). Their mean age was 12.5 years. The prevalence of elevated BP (both pre-hypertension and hypertension) in the study group was 44.1% and 31% at the first and second measurements respectively, compared to 11.6% and 1.9% in the normal-weight group. Hypertension was documented in 17.2% of the study group at the second measurement.
Conclusions: Elevated BP was diagnosed in 31% of overweight and obese children and adolescents. Increased awareness and early diagnosis and treatment are essential.